Previously, upon hearing 'New Zealand' images of Hobbits and Xena: Warrior Princess would come to mind. Unlike the established fashion capitals, New York, London, Milan and Paris, or even the emerging fashion cities, Japan, Copenhagen etc, New Zealand had seemingly never been on the fashion radar. However, when New York fashion writer Alex Catarinella reported his experience at New Zealand Fashion Week for Dazed Digital in a feature titled 'Internet goths and smoke machines: New Zealand Fashion Week', this new fashion focus on the Kiwi's was born. Unlike the 'big four' fashion weeks which occur twice a year, in February and September, New Zealand Fashion Week, like Halloween, comes but once a year - unfortunately.
Reading further into Catarinella's report of the dark, gothic catwalks of NZFW, which was held from 25-31 August, it was definitely a fashion week appealing to Nouvelle Noire. With vibes of American Horror Story: Coven and 'Lourd'y' - Catarinella's own term -styles, curiosity led to further research of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Although several of the designers stood out, notably Pardon My French and NOM*d, one particular brand at NZFW stole the show in a punk meets goth way. Introducing Stolen Girlfriends Club. The brands 'rules' are:
"a youthful rebellious spirit, a healthy sense of humour, and the ability to entertain and empower"
Through their collection at this years NZFW, this motto was evident. Highlights of the collection include tartan print, oversized leather jackets and an abundance of black. This lust-worthy collection epitomises the brands founders, and friends, Dan Gosling, Luke Harwood and Marc Moore's desire to design clothes that ooze sex appeal, confidence and courage.
Set out to create clothing that couldn't be found in the current market place, Stolen Girlfriends Club draws influence from punk romanticism and party crashers, with each collection having an underlying air of rock'n'roll delinquency. This collection was no exception. With studded chokers, red toned tartan and British Royalty iconography, the punk feeling is evident, whereas the cutout black dress and sheer panelling give it the intended sex appeal. The recent collection definitely evokes Jean Paul Gaultier's A/W 14 offerings, yet with a more youthful, flirtatious message.
Despite, unfortunately, not seeing the collection in person, Caterinella's description perfectly set the scene, telling of the Mini Cooper headlights and smoke machines accompanying the collection to a soundtrack of Iggy Pop and the Pixies. It definitely sounded like a must-see show, if it was not for the few thousand miles between Auckland and London.
Although the above collection won't be available for a while, their current campaigns including 'Verbal Warning' and 'Dirty Magic', available here, will more than satisfy the need for humorous, youthful designs with a hint of gothic luxe.